Sept. 28, 2018
Chris Havel, OPRD, 503-931-2590
Don Hamilton, ODOT, 503-704-7452
Rachel Pawlitz, USFS, 541-308-1744
CASCADE LOCKS — Six miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, the paved bicycle and walking path closed for nearly 13 months by the Eagle Creek Fire, have re-opened between John B. Yeon Trailhead and Cascade Locks.
The Historic Columbia River Highway itself remains closed between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth, a six mile section, with no timeline yet for re-opening.
“The Cascade Locks and Gorge community are Oregon’s crown jewel,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “The re-opening of the State Trail is a major step in the economic recovery of the region and brings us a step closer to make sure visitors from across the state and around the world can again fully experience the majesty this area has to offer.”
Also open again Friday are:
- The U.S. Forest Service parking lot and day use/picnic area at the Eagle Creek Recreation Site. The trailhead area and trail itself remain closed with no timeline for reopening.
- National Forest System lands north of Interstate 84 near Eagle Creek Overlook Campground, a common spot for fishing or viewing the Columbia River.
- The parking lot at the Toothrock Trailhead.
- The parking lot at the John B. Yeon Trailhead. Unpaved hiking trails at John B. Yeon remain closed as does the trail to Elowah Falls.
Many other Gorge facilities operated by the U.S. Forest Service, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation remain closed.
The newly re-opened section of trail has been closed since Sept. 4, 2017, two days after the start of the Eagle Creek Fire.
Recovery in this area included removal of hazard trees as well as rock scaling to bring down rocks in danger of falling near Eagle Creek. The rock scaling, the tree removal and installation of temporary fencing has made this section of trail safe to re-open.
Visitors to the trail however, as always, must use caution and remain vigilant about potential hazards and stay on the designated trail at all times. Periodic closures may still occur to remove newly-identified hazards.
Visitors should expect congestion. As an alternative to driving in the Gorge, ODOT recommends visitors from the Portland area board the Columbia Gorge Express at the Gateway Transit Center, which has ample free parking on weekends. Round-trip tickets to Multnomah Falls are $5 per person and can be purchased at ColumbiaGorgeExpress.com. Children 6 and under ride free.
Each bus can carry up to three bicycles.
To check on the latest status of recreation sites in the Gorge, check ReadySetGorge.com. Road status is available on tripcheck.com.